Monday, 24 May 2010

18May 2010 - Jerez Riding School

Jerez is 60 miles from Seville and is famous for its Royal Equestrian School and its many wine and brandy bodegas. We left Seville at 9am and arrived at the Equestrian School about an hour later.

The horse exhibition did not start until midday, so we had plenty of time to walk around the beautiful grounds of the school. There were a number of museums and displays, including this one dedicated to making saddles and horse furniture.

Next door to the school was the Sandeman bodega, with its two crane nests. This got as much interest as the horse training areas.

The morning passed quickly and it was soon time to make our way to the exhibition building. By now the grounds were packed with coach loads of visitors, obviously a very popular excursion destination.

Photographs were not allowed during the exhibition, so this one of the royal box is the only one I could take.

We hoped to get buy some postcards of the show, but were disappointed to discover that there were none in the shop. We bought this card in a shop in Jerez town centre, but it was the only one we could find.

This one, showing the finale of the show, was from our Gandia tour brochure. It gives a good idea of how large the indoor show area is, and at least during our visit it was packed with only a few empty seats.

Most of the rest of the coach were booked to visit a bodega after lunch, but we had enough of moving around in a crowd, so we decided to look around Jerez on our own. We had not realised how hot it would be, and after a short walk were ready to find a shaded café for lunch. We though we had ordered a plate of chips, but were presented with a bag of crisps! Despite being a very popular tourist spot, few of the locals seemed to speak any English.

After lunch we set off on foot to explore Jerez. It was not long before the afternoon heat forced us to find shade. Fortunately we found a well shaded bandstand in a square overlooking the Cathedral.

We had an hour to wait before we could rejoin the coach after the bodega visit, and most of it was spent sitting in the shade and watching the world go by.

The Moorish castle looked interesting, and was open to the public, but we had less than an hour to pass and we really had walked round more than enough castles and cathedrals.

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